Considered quite a rock star in TV news reporting Atom Araullo, who risked life and limb to deliver the events of the catastrophe that was Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, viewers and netizens were alarmed over his absence from ABS-CBN some two weeks ago.
With his heartthrob good looks and movie star demeanor, Araullo, who has 1.36 million followers on Twitter (@atomaraullo), finally appeased fans when he tweeted on August 27: “For clarity. I quietly resigned as a news reporter of ABS-CBN a few weeks ago to explore other areas of media and to grow as a journalist. However, I continue to work with the network and our programs. My political views were not a factor in making this decision.”
“Having studied pressing issues based on fact and with an open mind, journalists, like any other individual, should ultimately stand up for the truth. This does not weaken our journalism, it strengthens it. Our guiding principles are fairness and accuracy. As we face tougher scrutiny from the public, we in media also strive to be more transparent and open to criticism.”
“I thank everyone for the support they expressed on social media. I look forward to playing my role in the debates and issues to come.”
He posted the same statement on Facebook (Alfonso Tomas Araullo [Atom Araullo]) on August 28, which instantly generated 17K likes, 2,019 shares and 404 comments.
Some netizens went as far as to urge the news reporter to transfer to the competition, but as of now, he is very much part of Umagang Kay Ganda and Red Alert.
One follower, Dalene Dolot, commented: “In behalf of the victims of super typhoon Yolanda, we will always be grateful to you Atom for your bravery and compassion to be with us during that worst event in our lives. I believe that you have made the right decision.”
John Ernest expressed: “I’m one with you in your cause & mission … I’ll continue supporting you & have high respect on you. God bless & good luck for taking a different & unpopular yet well reflected personal decision.”
Tom Palabay posted: “By taking such position, you have made yourself and your time available for free and unbiased journalism especially in social media but we cannot escape criticisms at this time of radical steps of the gov’t taking place.”
Incidentally, The Manila Times overheard too that Araullo is soon to publish his own book. While he has not disclosed its topic yet, it is sure to be a best seller based on his following on social media.